Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
Published: 2011 - Dutton
Age Group: YA
Read: October 13, 2011
4 out of 5 Stars: I adored this book
Reason for Reading: There are two things I can't get enough of: Post-apocalyptic dystopias and Road Trip novels. This is the latter.
On GoodReads: "What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan - the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah - unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy's story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent."
My Thoughts: I really, really enjoyed this. I thought the story was sweet, though fairly predictable. But I love stories of putting yourself back together after a heart break or some other kind of loss of self. Joy was hilarious at times, I loved her inner monologue and it felt good to watch her heal. Noah was adorable. I mean, he's up there in the top YA-boys. I though Wing Smith's writing was really appealing, and would appeal to a lot of people -- very funny, almost unexpectedly so at times. The Mormon aspects of the book (all the main characters are Mormon) was really interesting to me as someone not of the same faith. I thought it was really well done, it wasn't pushing religion, but showing how it worked in these teens' lives. I think it takes a great writer to include religion in a novel and not force it upon the reader. Well done. Note: Ignore the blurb by Standiford on the back cover.
Recommended To: People who love road trips. Fans of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, fans of The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson. People who want to read a more PG love story, with the humor still intact.
Quote From The Book: "It's Friday night at the Ballad of the Sad Cafe, and the air smells like melodrama and espresso." (p. 187)
Books Read This Year: 82 of 100
Currently Reading: How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr